Great Physicists: The Life and Times of Leading Physicists by William H. Cropper

By William H. Cropper

Here's a full of life heritage of recent physics, as noticeable during the lives of thirty women and men from the pantheon of physics. William H. Cropper vividly portrays the lifestyles and accomplishments of such giants as Galileo and Isaac Newton, Marie Curie and Ernest Rutherford, Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr, correct as much as modern figures equivalent to Richard Feynman, Murray Gell-Mann, and Stephen Hawking. We meet scientists - all geniuses - who might be gregarious, aloof, unpretentious, pleasant, dogged, imperious, beneficiant to colleagues or contentious competitors. As Cropper captures their personalities, he additionally deals bright pix in their nice moments of discovery, their sour feuds, their family members with friends and family, their non secular ideals and schooling. additionally, Cropper has grouped those biographies via self-discipline - mechanics, thermodynamics, particle physics, and others - each one part starting with a ancient review. therefore within the part on quantum mechanics, readers can see how the paintings of Max Planck encouraged Niels Bohr, and the way Bohr in flip prompted Werner Heisenberg. Our figuring out of the actual global has elevated dramatically within the final 4 centuries. With nice Physicists, readers can retrace the footsteps of the lads and girls who led the way in which.

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Extra info for Great Physicists: The Life and Times of Leading Physicists from Galileo to Hawking

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His studies in mechanics touched on statics, hydrostatics, elastic collisions, projectile motion, pendulum theory, gravity theory, and an implicit force concept, including the concept of centrifugal force. He pictured light as a train of wave fronts transmitted through a medium consisting of elastic particles. In matters relating to physics, this intellectual menu is strikingly similar to that of Newton. Yet Huygens’s influence beyond his own century was slight, while Newton’s was enormous. One of Huygens’s limitations was that he worked alone and had few disciples.

Newton cited historical evidence that this text was corrupted in the fourth century by the introduction of the doctrine of the Trinity. Any form of anti-Trinitarianism was considered heresy in the seventeenth century. To save his fellowship at Cambridge, Newton kept his unorthodox beliefs secret, and, as noted, he was rescued by a special dispensation when he could no longer avoid the ordination requirement of the fellowship. Halley’s Question In the fall of 1684, Edmond Halley, an accomplished astronomer, traveled to Cambridge with a question for Newton.

Prospects were dim. Trinity had not elected fellows for three years, only nine places were to be filled, and there were many candidates. Newton was not helped by his previous subsizar status and unorthodox program of studies. But against all odds, he was included among the elected. Evidently he had a patron, probably Humphrey Babington, who was related to Clark, the apothecary in Grantham, and a senior fellow of Trinity. The next year after election as a “minor” fellow, Newton was awarded the Master of Arts degree and elected a “major” fellow.

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